Haha, yes that’s a very good conclusion!
Wow, that is a long heathly relashionship, some are on their 60th divorce and still searching ;)
Ya know, @Snoopy, where you are based and the flights you intend to do, a motor glider might really be the best option. Make no mistake, you can go touring in them – a friend of mine has flown one from southern Spain to the south of Morocco a couple of times. Not the fastest way to go, for sure, but being able to switch the engine off and go gliding for a while is ultra-cool. I’ve been in them a few times (as pax) and it’s a very different feeling from the flying we are used to. It must be totally easy to get a demo flight in one at one of the Styrian aeroclubs.
I have been involved in finding “cheap” planes for a number of people who have been approaching me in recent years for that purpose. Their wish was always the same: an affordable airplane which could be maintained by any airplane mechanic and which generated low to moderate costs of ownership. Most of those looking were in the market for a VFR equipped plane.
By what I could see in terms of maintenance bills and hasslefree operation, the usual suspects have surfaced as the most populat choices namely the PA28-140 or 180 as well as one Grumman Traveller and several Vintange Mooneys. It was interesting to me that Cessna was out of the game for a long time, mainly for fears of the dreaded SID inspections which were long considered to be a time bomb in case they became mandiatory. With part NCO and ELA1 this has become different, but in many cases Cessnas are more expensive than Pipers.
The most needed mods were Mode S and 8.33. The former nowadays is almost gone as most planes now do have mode S, 8.33 still is a very often required mod.
In terms of what I’d suggest for someone who is looking for a hassle-free used airplane I keep coming back to the early PA28 series, namely the 140 and 180 models. One of those here in Switzerland is in the process of finding a new home, a lovely Challenger. My reasoning is that they are comparatively cheap to find, basic models with mid-life engines and basic instruments go from 15k to 25k in the case of the 140 and 20-30k for the 180. The nice thing about them is that any mechanic can fix them and have routine on them, which means rather low maintenance costs, they are quite easy to fly and will do most people’s needs nicely. The engines are bog standard, the props and gear fixed and they have few if any recurring issues.
For those who want a bit more a traveller plane I keep coming back to the Vintage Mooneys which start at around 30k for a basic VFR C model. Particularly C and E models with manual gear and flaps will not eat up much more money than a PA28-180 but deliver 30 knots more for the same money.
The Grummans are also nice and easy planes but difficult to find for an affordable price. The Moranes are cheap to buy but I understand that parts are sometimes not that easy to come by.
I agree that a very cheap option may be motorgliders, currently I have seen some good priced SF25 for sale. But they are a different class of plane.
There may be soon a similar AD for the PA28: https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2018/december/20/faa-proposes-airworthiness-directive-on-piper-wing-spars
As mentioned here
The aging aircraft initiative never expected Cessna to start right away and add the corrosion inspection to its maintenance manuals. In the end all aircraft will be subject to similar inspection schemes and that is well thought. Btw, most of those who have done the full ‘CessnaSID’ program will not question them any longer. The risk of a bad bird is reduced and yes, it added cost, but only if they found serious problems. I would rather spend the extra money for an aircraft with an inspection as to go for the risk.
The cost of manufacturers ‘ spares, where Cessna appears to be raising prices unreasonably for GA, is a factor.
Types that can go to Univair for spares have a distinct advantage.
Since the regulations eased PMA parts to be manufactured the quest is to find the small shops doing the parts.
I found original Cessna spares quite reasonably priced. About three years ago we ordered a new strut sealing kit for our 172b and Cessna just billed $1,75 plus shipping. I really can’t complain with that.
It must be totally easy to get a demo flight in one at one of the Styrian aeroclubs.
I’ve done this as a teenager. In a Falke and Super Dimona. It was nice. I’d need to finally get around to not having 4 seats and no IFR though ;). Could still rent for those occasions, but then the point of owning is no renting anymore. Or to look at it from the other side, a Falke, Dimona or even Katana can be rented for a much more reasonable price than a SR22.